From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor, comes a deeply poignant and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope. Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason's learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason's best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family's orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can't understand why Lieutenant Baird won't believe the story Mason has told about that day. Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He's desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny. But will anyone believe him? National Book Award Finalist * ALA Schneider Family Book Award * 2019 ALSC Notable Children's Book * Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018 * 2019-2020 Nebraska Golden Sower Award * Amazon Best Books of 2018 * Kirkus Best of Children's 2018 * New York Public Library Best Books 2018 * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2018 * 2018 Nerdy Book Club Middle Grade Winner
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by Leslie Connor
"Narrator Andrew Eiden's slow pace and soft tone perfectly depict the character of 12-year-old Mason Buttle. The rhythm in Eiden's narration captures Mason's storytelling voice, which is punctuated with the periodic refrain, "I'll tell you what." Listeners will be captivated by Mason's sincerity and gentleness. Eiden's low-key inflections suggest these shining qualities as Mason adopts an attitude that minimizes his learning disabilities, the death of his mother, his grandparents' unspoken grief, and the bullying of a neighbor. All these take a back seat to his frustration with his profuse sweating and his confusion about the police lieutenant who believes he's responsible for the death of his best friend. Eiden deftly portrays Mason's bewilderment and his gradual understanding of how he is perceived by the world, as well as the humanity of those who support his tender spirit. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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